Saturday, 29 June 2013

50 miles of bliss

50 miles. My first ever 50 miles. Baby's first ever 50 miles.

As you must know by now, a week ago I got my Baby, a goregeous, petite, silver Dawes Horizon Plus.

Baby's first contact with the pavement.
So, on the following day, we decided to go test Baby out, on a 50 miles route. I must admit, I was excited to go out on my new bike, but also terrified as that would have been the longest cycle ride I've ever done. The longest one before was 38 miles and it required frozen cauliflower on my legs to keep the pain away.

However, I manned up, and went for it. And boy, I am glad I did. It was 50 miles of bliss. Baby is a pleasure to ride and much more easy to handle than my previous bike. It does not feel like cycling, it feels like the wheels are not touching the ground, that effortless it seems to be. While for me it was effortless, Ben, on his old mountain bike, was struggling to keep up with me. And that is saying something, because Ben is extremely fit!

Anyway, enough of me praising Baby. The route we took was extremely nice, pretty and very very cycling friendly. For most of the way we were on country lanes with very little traffic, and pretty views, but I'll let the pictures speak for that.

One last thing I want to add before I let you indulge the pictures is that, although I expected to be unable to walk or sit the next day, to my surprise I was perfectly fine. My legs and bottom were not sore at all, and the only thing I could think about was when to take Baby out again! So all in all, the 50 mile milestone proved to be a very pleasant experience (apart from the last 5 miles, when the wind was blowing against us, HARD)!

This weekend, we're trying to reach the 60 mile barrier, so wish us luck! And, as Ben's just on his way to pick up his new bike (a Dawes Galaxy), I have a feeling that I'll be the one struggling to keep up with him!

Hanningfield Reservoir
We had to climb with our bikes over that fence!
I made some new Beee-st friends.
The beautiful empty road ahead of us.
River Crouch near Canewdon
Resting by the river.
Back home. Tired but happy (at least one of us!)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Water, wind, rain and lollipops

Last weekend was our first official event in the UK. Unfortunately, it's not as impressive as it sounds. Our first event was in fact a school fete held in Rayleigh, Essex. We had agreed to run a stall at the fete to spread awareness about Dravet Syndrome, but also to try and raise some money for the cause. We came up with several different ideas for our stall to try and attract people to come over and have a go, but we eventually decided on using water pistols to shoot at plastic bottles. We also decided to have a back up and have a roll a 2p game as well.

We bought the water pistols from a local shop for a cheap price the day before and started to test them out on the morning before the fete. Annoyingly, they were not quite as good as we had hoped they would be, not managing to be powerful enough to knock over the bottles, even though the wind seemed to be very good at doing that! We then had a further set back when Carmen (who was testing it at the time) broke one of the water pistols by pumping it too vigorously. This was to be a bit of a problem considering we were going to be asking kids to do this and they were even more likely to break them. So we decided in the end to use sponges instead of water pistols to knock over the bottles.

Later on the same day we arrived at the fete with all our equipment and we headed over to start setting it up. We had three little tables all to ourselves so we were quite pleased that we had plenty of space to promote our cause! On one table we placed some hand knitted hats, bracelets and brooches made by Carmen's mum, on another we placed our roll a 2p game and on the third we had an example of some of the prizes that people could win (books, puzzles and lollipops!) We also placed a big board advertising what our stall was all about. Once we had set everything up we were ready to go.

Proud stall owners cowering under some trees

Unfortunately for us, last weekend was not a very good weekend to hold a fete due to some rather adverse weather conditions. There was quite a downpour of rain for the first hour of the fete, with quite heavy winds throughout the whole thing. This impacted a fair bit on the amount of people who stayed at the fete and wandered round taking part in the activities. It also caused us to have remove most of the stuff from the tables to stop it getting too wet or blown off (as you can see above). But we were lucky enough, even though we ended up being stuck under some trees to protect us from the rain, to make £10.18.

Carmen demonstrating how to miss all the bottles

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Picnic in the Park

We are sorry we haven't posted for a while but we have both been very busy with work and organising a couple of events and a funeral, but we now have a little bit of free time to to let you know what we have been up to.

A couple of weeks ago now we travelled to Romania to visit Carmen's family and friends who she hadn't seen for about 5 months.Whilst we were in Romania, we, with a lot of help from Dravet Romania, organised a picnic in the park to try and attract attention to our cause and promote our cycle ride.

The day of the picnic was a lovely, hot day and we went down to the park with all our t-shirts on, lots of cakes and other food, leaflets and a big banner promoting Dravet Romania. At the time of the picnic there was lots of other things going on in the park, due to it being International Childrens Day. There was a stage set up and lots of games and activities for kids. Unfortunately this impacted a bit on our promotion as most people were more interested in the kids games (which is hardly surprising for kids really). However we did have a fairly decent turn out of supporters for Dravet and we all enjoyed some nice food and a few games. We even managed to get a volunteer who was interested in helping do a similar challenge to ours for Dravet, but in Romania instead.

However the challenge in Romania will be slightly different. Instead of them cycling a full 600miles (900km), they instead will cycle as many miles as they can over a period of time (it doesn't even have to be consecutive days) and everyones mileage combined will be added up until they reach the equivalent that we are doing in England. So if anyone from Romania or from England or anywhere really wants to contribute towards their own title in the name of Dravet, please let us know and we can see what we can arrange. Enjoy the pictures from the picnic!

A small selection of the people at our picnic

Me and Carmen playing with her niece, Lara

Carmen's nieces and their Mum playing Chess with a friend

Carmen's brother showing his support

Carmen's niece, Sanziana showing us how it's done

Monday, 3 June 2013

Quiz about Dravet Syndrome. Prizes to be won!

This is a chance for you all to see just how much you know about Dravet Syndrome and other epilepsies. We decided to run a little quiz to see how you did. It's not too difficult but hopefully you will learn something in the process about Dravet Syndrome, which is one of our aims. So please have a go and see how you do!

Enter here

There will of course be an added incentive in the form of prizes for the top three performers. The prizes are as follows:

1st Prize: A Dravet t-shirt and bracelet

Modeled very beautifully by us I might add

2nd Prize: A watch

A nice gold and silver watch: not real gold or silver though!

3rd Prize: A pair of earrings

A nice pair of purple butterfly earrings

The prizes will be sent out to the three people with the highest scores. In the event of a tie we shall do a random draw to see who the winner is. The quiz will be open until midnight 1st July (London time GMT) and the winners will then be announced by midday 1st July. So enter here to see how you do.

Good luck!